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November 8, 2019

Applicant allowed to become party in prisoners case

Lahore

November 8, 2019

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court on Thursday allowed an application by Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) to become party in a pending public interest petition for the rights of prisoners and to improve conditions of the jails in the province.

Barrister Sara Bilal appeared on behalf of the JPP and sought court’s permission to become party in the petition moved by civil society member Rida Qazi in 2010 seeking directions for prisoners to be treated in accordance with Pakistan Prisoners Code (Jail Code) and to shift inmates currently languishing in overcrowded prisons to other facilities.

The petition also called for shifting mentally ill inmates from jails to mental health institutes in order to provide them with adequate treatment. Justice Jawad Hassan observed keeping mentally ill prisoners in appalling conditions along with overcrowding in jails violated the right to life and dignity as guaranteed under Article 9 and 14 of the Constitution.

Barrister Sara Bilal told the court the JPP had nearly 10 years of experience in researching prison conditions. In the interest of adequately representing the interests of the clients, she said the JPP could lend its expertise and experience. Justice Hassan allowed the application to include the JPP as petitioner in the case.

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